Channel / 1 May 2018

Cal Coton - Work Experience

My name is Cal Coton and I was born and raised in Penzance, Cornwall. I am a current second year at Falmouth University, studying a 3 year BA Hons degree in Photography. I originally applied to 3 different universities before Falmouth but decided to stick to my roots and study in Cornwall. My photography is primarily portraits and studio/location work. When it came down to doing work placement during our second year I originally wanted to assist a photographer or work in a studio, however I found Ffotogallery in Penarth and settled with my choice. I didn't know what to expect because I was always worried galleries would be a bit sterile, but I was surprised on how relaxed the environment was here at Ffotogallery. I arrived in Penarth on the Saturday and stayed at The Glendale Hotel, conveniently located right next door to the gallery. I was surprised at how much like my home Penarth is. I wandered into the town a few times over the course of the week, I got to go to the seafront and found a nice pub across the road that did some ‘ansom food.

During my time here I was tasked with a range of tasks and opportunities. My first day I met the staff, got an introduction in to what Ffotogallery does from the director David, and sat in on a team planning meeting. After this, I worked with Liz to help with an exhibition de-install. This involved taking down images and carefully wrapping, filling holes and taking screws out of the wall. The rest of the day was spent painting and restoring the gallery walls, which I have to admit was therapeutic. 

Tuesday I started to organise exhibition invite cards from Ffotogallery’s history with David, which are an integral part of the Chronicle exhibition. I also got taken to Ikea to collect items such as frames and shelves for the exhibition. It was the first time I’d ever been, and it literally blew my mind! Wednesday was spent organising the exhibition invite cards into date order, preparing them ready for display. I spent the afternoon using my graphic design skills to create infographics that Phil (Marketing and Communications officer) can use in promoting different aspects of the exhibition. Thursday was probably one of my favourite days this week. In the morning I took my first trip to Hobbycraft to collect display folders with Esther, and created archive books from the exhibition invite cards I had been organizing earlier in the week. During the afternoon I took a trip with Esther to the Cardiff Museum to view the David Hurn exhibition that was being shown, and had a tour of art spaces in Cardiff. Today is my final day, and I have completed all tasks set to me, and am finishing up with this post for the website. I doubt this will be my last time here and I’m already planning my next trip. Throughout the week I have become more organised and more motivated to be productive with my work and myself. Ffotogallery has allowed me to see what working in a gallery environment is really like and the time and effort that is put in to achieve the level of professional outcome of a business. I’m thankful for the opportunity and the team for taking me on for the week.